What is Christmas? This is a question that has been asked by many over the years. Some people will answer the question with things like: "Presents", "stockings", or even "leaving the cookies and milk for santa." All of these things are fine and dandy. Even I find myself opening gifts and stockings with the utmost of glee on Christmas morning. But is that what Christmas is about? Is it about who has the biggest and best gift? Or maybe beating your neighbhor in the annual Christmas-light competition, and being proud of the fact that you completed your shopping list before Thanksgiving. Perhaps it's setting the tree and decorations up before the Thanksgiving football game has even ended. Perhaps. Still more people will say that this season is all about what is called the "Christmas spirit"; evidently the good feeling people get inside once a year. It's a sudden urge to give to the poor, or be extra freindly to the teller at the bank. This "Christmas spirit" goes deeper for some. It is the very essence of Christmas. It is trimming the tree with your family, Bing Crosby's voice wafting in the background. It is baking sugar cookies with your mother, and having a good laugh over the flour on your nose. It is sharing a mug of cider with your father over an open fire. It is singing Christmas carols with friends as well as strangers. Is this "Christmas spirit" what this season is all about? Most people will answer that yes, it is. This spirit and feeling is a great thing, and makes Christmas all that much better. But the question still remains: Is this Christmas? Is this why we go to all the trouble of gifts and trees and hams every year? Perhaps there is an even deeper meaning behind this holiday? Perhaps.
A handful of people will say that this day is about a baby born more than 2000 years ago. Is this the answer? An infant born in a stable? Perhaps this is the true meaning behind Christmas. The infant, Jesus Christ, was born of a virgin, and sent from God. The holiday we call "Christmas" is celebrating his birth. But why? Why is this birth so special? Well, Jesus was, and is, a King. A king, you say? How so? How could this baby, born in a barn among the animals, be a King? He is not only a King; He is God. God the Father sent Him to be born, and to live, and to die. Not just die. He died for us. Every single one of us. And that's still not the end of it. He is alive today. He came out of the tomb, and arose to heaven; to His rightful place. When we celebrate His birth this season, we need to not only think of His birth, but of His death for us. When people say that Christmas is all about the gifts, they are right. God gave every single one of us the greatest gift anyone could ever give. Eternal life. How does a Wii or an Ipod match up to that? Not even close. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I am a sinner. You are a sinner. But God has given us that gift. That is the true meaning of Christmas. Have a great Christmas and New Year in the Lord.
"Go tell it on the moutain, over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it on the moutain, that Jesus Christ is born."